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Autoimmune Disorders & Night Sweats

At the first sign of the entrance of new bacteria or a virus, the body’s immune system immediately begins to work to eliminate the potential threats to your health. Symptoms of these frequently include fever and night sweats. However, in some cases, the immune system falsely identifies healthy cells as threats and works to eliminate them. This is known as an autoimmune disease, or autoimmune disorder. Such disorders can affect almost all parts of the body, including the nerves, muscles, skin, lungs, blood vessels, and the heart and brain. Inflammation is the key sign for an autoimmune disease which results in swelling, pain, and redness.

The National Institutes of Health, NIH, approximate nearly 24 million Americans suffer from an autoimmune issue. However, actual numbers are potentially upwards of 50 to 60 million people. The NIH only accounts for the 24 diseases with which in-depth epidemiological studies exist. Current research has identified almost 100 autoimmune diseases and research suggests that upwards of 40 more with a potentially autoimmune basis have yet to be classified and named. Most can be chronic and are often life-threatening.

Markers also indicate many of these diseases and disorders have a genetic component, explaining why autoimmune issues are commonly clustered across family members. Sometimes, for example, a virus can trigger an autoimmune reaction to a person’s predisposed genetic marker.

Furthermore, these diseases often span multiple medical specialties and organs. Compared to cancer (with 14 million people living in the United States) and heart disease (with data suggesting upwards of 20 million people living with it in the United States) the combined total is still smaller than the population living with an autoimmune disorder. Costs are estimated in the 100-billion-dollar range annually for treatments in the US alone.

Night sweats are symptoms of myriad autoimmune issues and often are signs of hidden infection. Many of the most common autoimmune diseases—Rheumatoid arthritis, Celiac disease, Lupus, Multiple sclerosis, etc.—all share night sweats, fever, and hot flashes as symptoms. As discussed above, the overlap of symptoms and bodily system crossover make diagnosing and managing autoimmune disorders difficult. Always consult a physician with any healthcare concern. Find more information about autoimmune disorders here.

34 replies
  1. Rebecca Crowningshield says:

    I have been suffering debilitating hot flashes/sweats and chills for years. I am currently having at least 2 each hour around the clock. So severe and always accompanied with nausea and mild panic as I look for air. I lose so much water through sweating that I often am plagued with muscle cramps as well. These is nothing like an estrogen related hot flash. I wish someone took me seriously and had anything to offer. I feel its a very real possibility it could be fatal under the right circumstances. There is a lot of unnecessary strain on the circulatory system for starters. Please tell me there is something that can help this?!

    Reply
    • Alli Truttmann says:

      Hi Rebecca! Thank you for your commentary on this blog post. We hope that our messaging was educational and can help you come up with some ways to cope with your severe sweating and hot flashes. We always want to be a resource for our customers, in addition to providing a great product that works. But my biggest suggestion would be meeting with a physician to discuss your concerns. Maybe, together, you can come up with a treatment plan that incorporates physical and emotional treatments so you can get the rest that you deserve and need to preserve your health. Please feel free to email us personally at info@wickedsheets.com if you would like any additional information on Wicked Sheets or if I can help in any other way. Thanks and hang in there!!
      -Alli and the Wicked Sheets team

      Reply
      • Lesli says:

        I’m going to assume by your post by not being taken seriously, that you’ve already met w/a physician..likely more than once. I’m not a doctor, & I have no clue what’s going on, but I have Chronic Venous Insufficiency & Lymphodema. One of the meds that I take to TRY to control the edema & therefore some of the pain, causes wicked muscle muscle cramps. They’re diuretics, or diuretic like. Along with them, because they’re known to cause such horrible muscle cramps, I get a Rx potassium pill. It’s enormous, but fairly effective. I don’t always get 100% relief, but it’s FAR better than taking nothing. Do you take, or have you tried a potassium supplement to try to control the horrid muscle cramps? I’m sorry I can’t provide more help, but if you’re not already taking it, I’d highly suggest it. If you’re not taking it, & you decide to try it, would you please update on if it helped? I’m also curious to hear about whatever you have going on that seems to have stumped everyone. Who have you seen specialty wise?

        Reply
    • Debbie says:

      Hello Rebecca. I too suffer severely from hot flashes. And yes I’m in menopause but I take hormones to help with my symptoms and these hot flashes last anywhere from 20-45 minutes long sometimes longer. I’m getting bad cramps too. So I did increase the amount of water I’ve been drinking and I eat a banana daily for the potassium. This is terrible. When I tell my doctor about it. She blames it on the menopause. And my hormone levels done with a spit test are coming back normal. I don’t know what to do. I’m very frustrated. I was wondering if you got anywhere with this. Thank you. Debbie.

      Reply
    • Debra says:

      Rebecca,
      Like you, I have been suffering for 10 years with horrific night sweats and daily hot flashes. I can’t tell you how many doctors, OB/GYN’s, and natural path doctors I’ve been to and how many thousands of dollars I have spent getting a debt trying to figure this out. Of course whenever you hear hot flashes and night sweats people always think that it is hormonally related to menopause which is not my case I am most positive. I am currently under asleep doctors care getting a sleep study and getting more blood tests. This young doctor is from Stanford and he told me that if he doesn’t find anything that he will try to dig deeper. I’m wanting to see an endocrinologist maybe they can dig in areas that regular doctors don’t think about. Most recently I have been suffering with high blood pressure which is something that I’ve never had in my life I think that the sleep deprivation is getting to me as just like you I have night sweats every 15 to 20 minutes it’s absolutely horrible when you cannot sleep. Currently I feel crazy absolutely crazy I feel like I’m going to die If I don’t get sleep soon.
      For about six years I took THC in the form of a tincture that is marijuana basically in the form of a tincture that you drop under your tongue. At first for many years it worked but then I started having to raise the dosage and drug myself silly to where I couldn’t even get out of bed which just doesn’t work. If something were to happen an emergency of some sort I would not be able to function plus I don’t want to be that dependent on things. Most recently I quit doing that because the tincture just stopped working my hot flashes came back once every 30 minutes and night sweats the same so why should I drug myself. In all of the years I’ve been dealing with this I’ve had doctors wantTo cover it up with drugs and not get back to the reason why it’s happening. If you want to email me and maybe we can be a support for one another. I hope you feel better soon my heart goes out to you because I am the same.

      Reply
      • Brooke says:

        Hi Debra,
        I have the same symptoms as you do. My primary care Doctor ran some blood tests on me to check my adrenal glands. My blood work came back with everything being very high and out of range. This was positive for a Pheochromocytoma. It is a tumor normally benign that sites on top of your kidneys. It is a simple surgery to have it removed, but if left untreated it can be fatal. A normal CT of your abdomen typically misses it because the adrenal gland is so small it falls between the splices of the CT images and so it is commonly missed. My hematologist/Oncologist is sending me for a Pet Scan to look for the pheochromocytoma. In the mean time I started taking 25mg of Amitriptyline which has helped with the night sweats. It does not make them totally go away but it does reduce them to a semi tolerable level. My night shirt still gets wet but at least my sheets and pillows are not drenched. The amitriptyline has also helped reduce my headaches and lowered my blood pressure some. It is not a fix but just barely makes things tolerable while we are going through the process of trying to figure out what is wrong. Have your Doctor run your blood work to check your adrenal glands. If your results come back high it will tell you to look for a pheochromocytoma. A pet scan is a better scan for this then a normal CT scan.
        I hope this helps,
        Brooke

        Reply
        • Maxine says:

          Hi Brook, I was recently diagnosed with Psoriatic arthritis and have begun taking medication to slow down the inflammation. One benefit I’m seeing is that I no longer have the night sweats. In fact I actually need another blanket on the bed to keep warm. It made me wonder if all those night sweats had something to do with the uncontrolled inflammation in my body. The night sweats started during menopause, but have continued despite me using hormone replacement therapy. Btw – I invested in a ChiliPad to help cool me down at night and they work great.

          Reply
      • Kristen says:

        Hi Debra. I was recently diagnosed with chronically low Magnesium. You would not believe all of the symptoms related to this and how hard it is to diagnose. A type A personality, along with being positive for the HLA b35 have a predisposition to having a chronically low Mag level. This can affect your norepinephrine among other things. It surges day and night, which causes a sick or anxious feeling, followed by debilitating and drenching sweats. It can also cause hypertension and low vitamin D levels, despite supplementation.

        Reply
    • Liz says:

      Hi Rebecca do you have any implant, device, or foreign material in your body? If so it could be related to that which is causing your body to react this way.

      Reply
    • Jennifer says:

      You hit the nail on the head. I’ve been suffering with these for more than 10years and it just keeps getting worse.

      Reply
    • Angela Harris says:

      I have these same symptoms. I do not have a diagnosis yet but I do have a rheumatologist now and they are trying to figure out what’s wrong. I would love to talk to you.

      Reply
    • Melissa says:

      I also have horrible hot flashes, unlike anything I ever went through with menopause. I have them as often as twice an hour. It makes me weak as if im going to pass out. I suffer from COPD and asthma as well so it definitely makes me short of breath. I can feel them coming on and its almost like I cook from the inside out. It radiates like a heating pad. Its horrible, but I’ve also develop major muscle spasms in the neck shoulders and spine between shoulders. I have no idea if these things are related. My blood work always shows sign of possible auto immune issues yet the doctors can’t tell me which one if any. Im so distraught over it all.

      Reply
    • Kate List says:

      Yep, I am with you … I know something is wrong. Theybjust blow me off. It is truly awful and I feel terrible and getting worse.

      Reply
  2. Fiona says:

    Hello.
    I suffer from primary Sjogren’s Syndrome and, of late, I have been experiencing extreme chest sweating through the night. Also painless swollen lymph nodes. Thanks for the information on disorders and night sweats.
    Regards, Fiona.

    Reply
    • Linda Whitfield says:

      I have Sjogren’s also.. so tired all the time.. It’s primary discomfort is pain in my body along with dry eyes and mouth.. no cure!

      Reply
  3. Jahmeila says:

    Hello, I just read through your blog and found it very helpful. I have Lupus, and have been living with it for almost a year now. I have recently (within the past two months) starting having night sweats. The first time I was very scared because I thought I may have wet the bed.

    I was very shocked at the fact that it was in fact sweat. My bed is right beside my heater and so I passed it off thinking it was that. The sweating does happen a lot but not most nights. I will be seeing my doctor and addressing this to her. Thank you.

    Reply
  4. Robbin says:

    I’ve been dealing with hot flashes and severe night sweats for years now ( approximately 5) I am now post menopause and the night sweats seem to have intensified. I have recently been diagnosed with a autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis. I get swollen feet, ankles, hands etc. neck pain and migraines. I also have Trigeminal neuralgia, which is a nerve condition. I’m so tired ALL the time, and I believe if the night sweats weren’t there I would feel better all the way around. Need sleep 😴

    Reply
    • Alli Truttmann says:

      Hey Robbin! Thanks for sharing your story with us, as I’m sure there are a lot of other sleepers out there experiencing similar issues. I think the more we talk about it, the better! We’re here to help with your sleeping needs and be a community of night sweats sufferers’ – so feel free to reach out anytime. My email is alli@wickedsheets.com should you ever have any additional questions. 🙂 Hang in there and have a wicked good day!

      Reply
  5. Holly says:

    I have sjogrens and small fiber neuropathy and in the past, prednisone and methotrexate gave me excruciating hot flashes for months after I stopped taking them.
    Now, I am getting them again. They have been starting in the afternoon and then all night. It’s exhausting.
    Now, they are round the clock.
    I don’t know if it’s menopause or my autonomic system. My rheumatologist is a moron with sjogrens so I am in the process of looking for another one, and going to get bloodwork done by my gyno next week. I can’t keep weight on at all and am in constant joint pain.
    I had bloodwork for lymphoma last year due to the weight loss and hot flashes, but it came back normal.
    Now here I am again, suffering so much.
    I wish doctors knew more about sjogrens but they are really idiotic about how to treat a severe case of it, so I go it alone.

    Reply
    • Linda Whitfield says:

      Holly, I feel you!! I also take methotrexate, and I have bad sweating spells too. I couldn’t imagine why I was having them because I’m 71, been thru that already! Thx ya you for posting!!

      Reply
    • Kate List says:

      Yep, doctors are pretty worthless. I am a veterinarian, I really need to find out what is wrong … it is a very REAL frightening health issue that is turning my life. They blow me off and say go to the emergency room if you feel you are dying or want a particular test. THAT really makes me feel better … OMG … really??? I have to wear a Holter Monitor for 48 hours … and go in for more recheck tests in a week. Propranolol really helps some folks out, lowers bp, helps with night sweats and ,lowers heart rate / palpitaions/ pounding heart rate. They also a7scultated a heat murmur on me recently. I give then a list of possibilities and they get insulted and defensive and act like I am out of line. They do not even do a real exam on people anymore. It is crazy .. I am sorry but I am not going to the ER … total scam these days. Out country is in a health crisis … very sad.

      Reply
  6. Jacqueline Hall says:

    I, too, have the above. My consultant has moved to another hospital; he diagnosed me with Sjogrens Raynauds and Schelerdorma disease. The new rheumatologist says I have fibromyalgia? I think it’s because a lot of older doctors don’t really know what lupus is. #nightsweats

    Reply
  7. Mary Jean says:

    My night sweats mostly started after I had all 4 wisdom teeth removed in 1979. Hugh swelling with pain and so with Temporal mandibular joint syndrome was prescribed Valium with some relief. Treated with different mouth appliances for malocclusion and as a palate expander for 4 years while continuing on Valium. In 1985 had excruciating neuralgia with numbness and double vision. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Valium changed to klonopin. Pregnant in 1987 and immediately stopped klonopin.
    In 1989 had twins. Developed severe chronic sweats more cold and clammy than hot flashes. Preceding all this and during treatment for temporal mandibular joint syndrome developed paroxysmal tachycardia with frequent PVCs. Went back on klonopin in 1992 due to increasing anxiety. “I’m not nervous my body is”, was my mantra over the next year until I developed cognitive decline with an ADHD.
    But was able to work as a nurse for the next 5 years. In 1998 I went to a psychiatrist due to depression. She said she could not treat me until I got off the klonopin. I had at this point been on and off benzos for the last 20 years. My current dose was 1mg 3x a day. I weened off over one month which was too fast and created a lot of challenges. We’ll see…

    Reply
    • Tom Covenant says:

      Hi Mary Jean,
      I read your story and some of it is very similar to my situation. Like you, I was on Klonopin for 20 years and made the mistake of going cold turkey and putting myself in rehab. I knew I couldn’t do it on my own. The experience almost killed me. Literally. I didn’t realize it at the time but a heart scan I had a few months after going cold turkey showed I had a small Aneurysm (4.0 cm) on my Aorta, from my heart down to the Ascending Aorta, and very diffuse.
      In rehab, I spent 30 days in torture. For the first 3 days, I did not sleep more than a minute or two at any time, and for the 30 nights, I slept maybe 3 nights of good 6-7 hours sleep. On the 2nd day, my blood pressure started to rise fast. Within a week I was 230/152. A pressure of 180/110 or more is called a “hypertensive crisis.”Not good. I took my Rx for the BP, but it remained just as high and higher. The team there blew it off. I came to the place with an Rx from my doc to let me take blood pressure meds and they let me have it, but no other Dr. consult. My Dr. told me the experience was going to spike my pressure for weeks because of the withdrawal symptoms (Normally, God Bless, mine has always been normal). I left at 30 days and felt like I was an invalid. I couldn’t walk, sleep, or think well. That was because I was coming off 4mg per day. Needless to say, I read up on the best way to get off Klonopin. That is to titrate down the dose by 10% per month. This takes a while, but it is the safest and also the best way to get the body used to the reduced dosage without ill effects. I did go back to it 2 years later after many Dr. visits because everything else does nothing for my severe anxiety. Klonopin keeps me able to work and not have anxiety. That peace of mind is worth it. I know it is biological and not mental. I’m in a good place.
      I hope you are as well. I’ve learned it helps a lot just to even do this on the web and talk about it.
      Now, 10 years later I’m waiting for an aneurysm surgery earlier than I expected. I am positive a month of dangerous high blood pressure 10 years ago is the reason.

      Reply
  8. Seana says:

    I have Hashimotos thyroiditis, a diff auto immune, essentially causing hypoactive thyroid. I’m also having night sweats. And my leg temperature is way up there. Every night it the same. Cold arms hot legs – it sucks.

    Reply
  9. Rehannon says:

    In January, I had covid, was down for 3 weeks, it felt like the flu on steroids! As time went on I felt like I had covid all of the time. I went to my primary because I would get a fever and develop the same symptoms I had w covid. He tells me it’s probably long-covid. Doesn’t know a lot about but that’s what it is. I would have pain all over, rapid heart rate, fever, aches, headaches, night sweats, etc… part of me thought I was going through early menopause because I had those symptoms, as well. Though I was one hot mess! I went back to the doctor for menopause symptoms, she asked if I had RA and of course I said not that I know of. She said based on what I have been experiencing I could have an autoimmune disease, so she ran bloodwork looking at ANA — came home scoured the Internet looking for AD, and based on what I was experiencing it sounded like it is Lupus. Also, found that covid is linked to the cause of autoimmune diseases. Lovely! Bloodwork came back positive for ANA, C-reaction is very high >10 and Vitamin D is extremely low – which is also linked to a autoimmune disease. So of course she wants to send me to a Rheumatologist to determine if it’s RA or Lupus. The problem with that is I don’t have health insurance, and until I do, the autoimmune disease goes untreated, and I am left unable to live my life, not being able to pretty much do anything because the feelings are so intense.

    Reply
    • Nicky says:

      Rehannon,
      I also had covid in jan of 2020 before they knew what it was. I was treated with multiple antibiotics and high doses of prednisone. I was already under the care of an NP who specializes in hormone replacement for menopause.When I went for my checkup she found my thyroglobulin to be extremely high, and my tsh, t3, r4 to be low and treated me for hashimoto with thyroid replacement therapy. All was good for a bit, hot flashes under control from menopause, energy returned. Then she changed my med and increased it. All hell broke loose.Now, the hot flashes are almost constant at night,and more often during day, my joints ache, and I have no energy most days, poor sleep. I cut out gluten, soy, and dairy from my diet which helped immensely. But something is wrong with me…I need a new doctor. Covid setting of autoimmune was something I was sure if. Thank you for confirming my fears! I wonder what the vaccine did as well! Did you find any articles r/t this coincidence . Doc’s only want to test my t4 and tsh… I fear I have lupus, or rhuematoid arthritis … or worse. Thanks for this info and fielr everyone sharing. I feel like my body is trying to kill me. And I look like holy hell 😩

      Reply
    • jody foster says:

      I’ve been suffering with drenching night sweats and hot flashes for over 11 years. I’m 56 and have been in menopause for years..nothing helps with the suffering. I also have Lupus and several of the accompanying ailments. I’ve tried everything both natural and pharmaceutical. No help to be found!!

      Reply
    • Sarah says:

      Hi Rehannon,
      I read through the blog and saw your message was the last. I’m so very sorry that you may have an autoimmune disease. I have had SLE, and Sjogren’s since the age of 15 and was recently diagnosed with RA ALONG WITH THE OTHERS. ugh 😑 if it makes you feel any better, medication doesn’t help much since you do not have insurance. Or at least it has never helped me much. I’m so tired of being exhausted all the time and want nothing more than to finally find a magic bullet to make my life more manageable. I almost feel as if many of the meds make it worse with other side effects. And all of them are unmanageable. The most improvement I have ever experienced is with a change of diet. I went vegan with mostly produce and fruit and nothing processed. It truly made an enormous difference in my fatigue and sleep and life! However, I am back to ground below zero trying to find my way to breathe again after COVID X 2 with the vaccine. I still work and I’m just exhausted. Want to melt into a puddle. Hang in there. Try different natural remedies. I assure you, they will benefit your body and health, emotions, and spirit far more than any medication. The doctors will only take you through a roller coaster and you will hope a med works and the side effects make you feel worse. It’s just depressing I know. Truly attempt diet and exercise management. It might help far more than you ever thought possible. It did me! And took me 25 years to do something different in that arena!

      Reply
    • Missy says:

      Hi! I have the same issues! ANA positive, but the rheumatologist can’t figure out what autoimmune disease I have!! I have had the million dollar work up. I have had leg edema since 2019. I take 2 water pills. And still have some swelling. When I got Covid, I told everyone that it felt like the flu on steroids! I have fatigue every day of my life. No get up and go. Muscle aches mainly in my legs 24/7. My strength in my arms and hands are like a 90 year old. I’m only 50. Not one person can tell me what’s wrong. But whatever it is, has to be inflammation related. I haven’t taken my water pills for 2 days because we have been on the road all weekend, and I can’t stop every 5 minutes to pee. But not taking the pills, I believe, has caused my hot flashes to come back!!! I haven’t had them since being put on the 2nd water pill. I wish you luck! Sounds like we are in the same boat

      Reply
  10. jody foster says:

    I’ve been suffering with drenching night sweats and hot flashes for over 11 years. I’m 56 and have been in menopause for years..nothing helps with the suffering. I also have Lupus and several of the accompanying ailments. I’ve tried everything both natural and pharmaceutical. No help to be found!!

    Reply

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